Sun, Aug 12, 2007 - Page 3 News List

Chen still mulling top judicial nominees

RUMOR MILL The Presidential Office dismissed as speculation media reports that Chen Shui-bian had decided on his nominees for Judicial Yuan president and vice president

By Ko Shu-ling  /  STAFF REPORTER , WITH CNA

President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) has not yet decided on his nominees for the posts of grand justices as well as head of the Judicial Yuan, the Presidential Office said yesterday.

Presidential Office Spokesman David Lee (李南陽) said all media reports so far were pure speculation because Chen had not yet made up his mind.

Lee made the remarks in response to a report published yesterday by the Chinese-language Liberty Times (the Taipei Times' sister paper), which said that incumbent Grand Justice Lai Ying-jaw (賴英照) was the frontrunner to head the Judicial Yuan, while Yang Jen-shou (楊仁壽), head of the Commission on the Disciplinary Sanctions of Functionaries, was likely to be appointed vice president of the Judicial Yuan.

As stipulated in the Constitution, eight of the grand justices, including the president and the vice president of the Judicial Yuan who were appointed in 2003, are to serve four years, while the rest are to serve eight years.  

Judicial Yuan President Weng Yueh-sheng (翁岳生), who concurrently serves as a grand justice, as well as five other grand justices, namely Lin Yung-mo (林永謀), Wang He-hsiung (王和雄), Yu Hsueh-ming (余雪明), Tseng You-tien (曾有田) and Liao Yi-nan (廖義男), will see their terms expire next month.

This is why the president has to put forward a list of eight nominees for grand justices to fill the vacancies.

Other incumbent grand justices -- Lai, Hsu Pi-hu (徐璧湖), Peng Feng-chih (彭鳳至), Lin Tze-yi (林子儀), Hsu Tsung-li (許宗力), Hsieh Tsai-chuan (謝在全) and Hsu Yu-hsiu (許玉秀) -- will see their terms of office expire in September 2011.

The post of vice president of the Judicial Yuan has been left vacant since last April after the resignation of Cheng Chung-mo (城仲模) amid allegations that he had relations with a female assistant professor at the National Yunlin University of Science and Technology.

Tseng Yuan-chuan (曾永權), executive director of the Chinese Nationalist Party's (KMT) policy committee, said President Chen had yet to send his list of grand justice nominees to the Legislative Yuan for approval.

Meanwhile, the People First Party (PFP), an ally of the KMT, responded positively to the idea of Lai serving as Judicial Yuan president.

Daniel Hwang (黃義交), executive director of the PFP's policy committee, said Lai served as PFP Chairman James Soong's (宋楚瑜) deputy during the latter's tenure as governor of the now marginalized Taiwan Provincial Government.

"If Lai is nominated by the president, the PFP will exercise the right of confirmation after reviewing his qualifications," Hwang said.

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